I love a good roasted chicken. But I don't like dealing with bones and not the type to try to roast an entire chicken. But that is why deboned chicken thighs exist! I am grateful for this juicy chicken meat easily cooked on a cast iron pan with few ingredients. I make this simple recipe every other week while craving an excellent crispy roasted chicken dinner full of flavor.
The leftover juices in the cast iron make a delicious gravy to slather on rice, mashed cauliflowers, or potatoes! I like to consider this recipe a two-for-one deal because I don't have to worry about finding sauce for the chicken.
This cast iron chicken recipe involves simple ingredients that you may already have in your kitchen. You can flavor it with just about any spice blend else you would want. This cast iron chicken thigh recipe uses chili powder.
How to Make Cast Iron Chicken Thighs & Gravy
The chicken to use for this recipe are boneless skin-on chicken thighs. You can choose to use bone-in chicken thighs as well. Either way, check that the chicken thighs have skin. The skin that gets crispy as the chicken roasts in the oven is the best part of this dish!
Prepare the Chicken Thighs
You will need butter, chili powder, salt, and pepper in addition to your chicken thighs. Anything else, feel free to add to make it your own.
Mix the chili powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
Take the butter and slice the stick into thin pieces. You can also bring the butter to room temperature so it is easier to spread through the chicken. I used room-temperature butter to tuck the butter under the chicken skin.
Gently pull the skin above the meat and make space for the butter with your fingers. Make sure the skin doesn't rip, and you have enough pockets to separate the meat and the skin but enough for the butter to be tucked inside.
Rub some spice over the chicken thigh pieces and place them in a bowl. Cover and let the dry rub sit on the chicken in the fridge for at least twenty minutes.
Cook Chicken Thighs
Preheat the oven to 200°C (~400°F) when it is ready. Then add some neutral oil to your cast iron and set the stove on medium to high heat.
Remove the chicken from the fridge and once the cast iron is hot, place the chicken thighs skin side down.
Pan-fry the chicken thighs until they are ready to be flipped over. You will know when they are prepared because the skin will no longer stick to the bottom of the cast iron pan.
Flip the chicken thighs over, turn off the heat and transfer to the preheated oven. Roast the chicken thighs for about twenty minutes or until the inner temperature reads 75°C (165°F).
Tip You might notice the chicken skin developing really dark spots even when the chicken is not ready. Cover the chicken thighs loosely with aluminum foil to avoid burned areas on the skin.
Make the Gravy
Remove the chicken thighs from the cast iron pan, and set them aside. Then place the pan back on the stove on low to medium heat.
You will notice that the butter and fat have pooled at the bottom of the skillet.
Take the measured flour and add it to the rendered fat and butter. Using a stainless steel whisk, vigorously mix the flour to the rendering until lumps have disappeared.
Keep whisking until the gravy starts to form. If there is a lot of fat, you may need to add more flour. If that is the case, add more flour one teaspoon at a time until you get the consistency you like. Remove the cast iron from the heat and pour the gravy onto a container.
How to Serve
I typically eat these chicken thighs and gravy on top of white rice or steamed vegetables. The chicken skin is crispy, while the meat is tender. The gravy flavor takes the front and center of every plate I have made, so I like to keep the sides plain and simple.
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Simple Cast Iron Chicken Thighs
- 1 kg chicken thighs, with skin
- 2 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon salt
- ½ tablespoon black pepper powder
- 60 grams butter
- 1-2 tablespoon flour for gravy
Cook Chicken Thigh
- In a small bowl, combine chili powder, salt, and pepper
- Pat the chicken dry and use fingers to make small pockets between the chicken meat and skin. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F)
- Cut butter into small slices then tuck the pieces under the skin of the chicken.
- Sprinkle and then rub the chili seasoning on both sides of each chicken thigh and stack the thighs in a bowl. Cover and put in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
- Place a cast iron skillet on the stove on medium to high heat. Add a tiny bit of oil in the skillet.
- Pan fry the chicken skin side down until it no longer sticks to the pan. Turn the chicken thigh over and continue cooking for one minute.
- Transfer the cast iron to the preheated oven and bake for 20 mins or until the chicken's inner temperature reaches 75°C (165°F)
- Place the cast iron back on the stove and remove the chicken thighs. Turn the heat back on to a low setting.
- Add the flour to the drippings and whisk as it thickens. Turn off the heat when it reaches a gravy consistency you like.
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